The 10 victims were emotional and exhausted after travelling all night by ferry and bus from Belfast to protest at Westminster. It made their words all the more powerful.
“The mother of all Parliaments is legislating for the mother of all cover-ups,” said Mark Thompson of Relatives for Justice whose 23-year-old brother Peter was killed by undercover soldiers in 1991 in west Belfast.
A coffin emblazoned with the word ‘Justice’ on it was carried to Parliament Square and then to the gate at Downing Street.
There were pall-bearers dressed in black, and mourners holding placards with ‘RIP Truth’, ‘RIP Accountability’, ‘RIP Victims’ Rights’.
“We got the Belfast-Liverpool ferry last night,” Mr Thompson said. “I don’t think too many of us slept during the journey. We then drove down to London. We stopped to freshen up and get changed in motorway rest rooms this morning.
“None of us have eaten all day, but what matters it that we’re here. We had to be here.”
Inside, MPs were debating the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill. That’s not what victims call it. “This is the bill of shame,” said Mr Thompson. It’s a smash-and-grab on justice.”
The legislation, which passed its second reading on Tuesday, means an effective amnesty for perpetrators, it also shuts down all new civil cases by victims’ families and Police Ombudsman investigations as well as inquests which haven’t yet opened.
“I’m here for my sister Margaret,” said Harry Gargan. “She was just 13 years old. She was shot dead by the Army as she talked to her friends in the Springhill massacre in July 1972.
“There were eight in our family. Margaret was the eldest. She was a tomboy. She loved football. My father always said if she’d been born a lad, she would have become a famous football player.
“She hated dresses and frocks. She went to school in trousers and a coat and then changed into her uniform at the gates. And she’d change right out of it the minute she got out the school doors.”
On the night his sister was killed, Harry was helping his father call the numbers at a bingo night in Westrock and Whiterock Community Centre in west Belfast.
Margaret was running the tuck shop there — serving crisps, juice and biscuits. Her father sent her back home to quickly check on her young brothers and sisters.
“The next thing I remember is somebody coming into the community centre shouting ‘Margaret Gargan’s been shot’,” Harry says.
Margaret had stopped to chat to two friends on her way home. The next second she was lying on the ground. The other girls didn’t even hear the shot that killed her.
“Her body was dragged into Maggie Meenan’s house. The ceasefire between the British Army and the IRA had just broken down,” Harry says.
“My father and I had to crawl on our hands and knees through the streets to get to Maggie’s because of the gunfire.
“There was just one wee mark on Margaret’s temple. It was the first time I saw my father cry. I was numb.
“Her body was carried out of the house on a sheet of corrugated iron, put into the back of a car and taken to hospital. But it was too late, she was dead on arrival.”
The Gargans are hoping that despite the Government’s legacy Bill, the fresh inquest previously ordered into Margaret’s death can go ahead.
“At the first inquest, the British Army claimed that Margaret was a 21-year-old gunman because she had jeans on. That was absolutely impossible. It was a bright summer’s night. She would have been easily identifiable as a young girl.
“There was no apology or anything like that to our family. We never even got her clothes back. My mother received £68 compensation which wasn’t enough to bury Margaret.
“We don’t want the soldier who shot her prosecuted. We just want the truth because they killed Margaret all over again by what they alleged about her at the inquest.” Alana McShane also took part in the protest at Parliament. Her schoolboy brother Gavin was shot dead with his friend Shane McArdle in May 1994.
They were killed as they played a computer game inside a taxi depot during their lunch break in Keady, Co Armagh.
It has been alleged that the killer, who was not wearing gloves or a mask, was Alan Oliver. He is now a born-again Christian and Portadown charity worker.
Alana said: “Gavin went out that morning with his schoolbag and came home in a coffin.
“He was killed just before he sat his A-levels.
“His driving test was booked and my daddy was sorting him out with a wee car.
“Alan Oliver has paid no price. He can walk the streets of Portadown without a care in the world while every day we go through the torture of losing Gavin.
“We are over here today to tell the British Government that we need the truth, and justice would be lovely as well. We don’t think that’s too much to ask.”